12 September 2017

Nigeria: Experts Evolve a Unified Model to Develop National Capacity for Disaster Risk Management

A unified nationally identified model for developing capacity in disaster risk management at the grassroots level evolved at a meeting of experts which held in Lagos last week. Bennett Oghifo reports

Experts at a meeting in Lagos, called for Training of Trainers (TOT) to develop national capacities for Risk Identification, Monitoring and Assessment Monitoring (RIMA), resolved to draft a training manual, conduct a training session, and develop a unified teaching model.

The National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA) with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), had commissioned a study to, among others, develop: A guide for RIMA conduct; a programme for developing National Capacity and Capability in RIMA, and; a country-wide action programme for undertaking RIMA.

However, to make the process operational, stakeholders are expected to standardise National Core Technical capability in RIMA and this was the thrust of the meeting, which was attended by representatives of six national centres of excellence for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

These centres, which are recognised as the potential regional hub to facilitate the RIMA training in each geo-political zone include: University of Maiduguri (North East zone), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (North West), Federal University of Technology, Minna (North Central), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (South East), University of Port Harcourt (South South) and University of Ibadan (South West).

According to the Deputy Director, Disaster Risk Reduction, NEMA, Benjamin Oghenah, "Each of the universities has a centre for disaster risk reduction and management, and we intend to use the centres to reach out to communities in their respective regions, in the light of the fact that they are already experts with ready -made technical capacity.

"We are now developing one unified model to be used nationally, both in content and methodology that can be applied across the nation through these centres while utilising the peculiarities they face in their specific regions.

"We are hoping that the UNDP will provide the support so that each centre will now go back to the states within their region and undertake the RIMA."

Apart from the DRR centres of excellence, State Environmental Management Agencies (SEMAs) of Kaduna, Lagos and Bayelsa also attended the workshop "to observe what is happening and give a critique," Oghenah said.

"Bayelsa SEMA complained of funding constraints," he said, stating that disaster risk management was now having global attention, and that emphasis was more on risk management than the hazard.

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